Jennifer Jackson (arcaedia) wrote,
Jennifer Jackson

letters from the query wars 10/22/2010

It's been some weeks since the last query wars post for various reasons. It seems to me that the days are not only growing shorter as we draw closer to winter, but literally losing time. Or perhaps it's all perception. In any case, bringing it up to date....

# of queries responded to: 147
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: SF

# of queries responded to: 214
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 2
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: fantasy (1), thriller (1)

# of queries responded to: 187
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 1
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: urban fantasy

# of queries responded to: 290
# of partials/manuscripts requested: 0
genre of partials/manuscripts requested: n/a

oldest query pending: October 15th

And since time is on my mind of late, and this post from John Scalzi keeps popping into my mind, now and then, partially because of his comments regarding my client Jay Lake (who has been battling cancer for the last two years and has a dayjob, a family, and writing deadlines), but also as it's applicable to so many things and not just writing (for instance, agenting, or er... blogging):

"Either you want to write or you don’t, and thinking that you want to write really doesn’t mean anything. There are lots of things I think I’d like to do, and yet if I don’t actually make the time and effort to do them, they don’t get done." --John Scalzi

A few query letters have come my way recently from authors who have only written part of a novel, or have an idea but haven't begun writing, or some variation on that theme. Most of them seem to want some kind of feedback or advice, but, of course, at this stage it's far too early to be contacting an agent or publisher. A novelist with no prior publication history needs to have a complete manuscript to show. Invariably, they seem to mention they don't have the time to write and/or finish the novel without some kind of assurance that it will be well-received.

Now, I certainly don't know their particular situation, or what choice they'd be making to invest the time without whatever guarantee they're seeking. Maybe it's just not the right time for them. Maybe they aren't in a position to make a sacrifice. But maybe they just don't want to take the risk.

If you want to share: What have you chosen not to do in order to pursue your passion to write? What do you do to find a balance between having the time to write and the rest of your life?
Tags: query wars

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